Houston podiatrist discusses the sensation of walking on rocksMy patients often come into the office with a common complaint. They feel like they are walking on rocks. This can be the case for a number of reasons for some, it is because of a deep callus on the bottom of their foot. The area of dead skin will feel like you're standing on a rock.

The other reason people describe this sensation is because of a condition called Fat Pad Atrophy. This is when the natural cushioning on the bottom of the foot wears away. It essentially leaves you with no cushioning for the metatarsal bones. The "rocks" you feel are literally you walking on your bones.

How Fat Pad Atrophy Occurs

Think about how often you need to replace your running shoes. Or how often you need to resole your favorite dress shoes. Why do you need to do that? Because of wear and tear. The normal use of the shoes causes the sole of the shoe to wear down. It reaches the point where it no longer is providing you support and protection. 

Here's the thing...if your feet wear down, you can't go out and buy a new pair. And they do wear down. Every step you take...running, walking, jumping, skipping...anything you do puts pressure on your feet. The shock of these activities are partially absorbed by the natural fat padding in the ball of your foot and your heel. The fat padding doesn't last forever. In many cases, it simply wears away like the tread on your shoe. In some cases, the fat pad shifts forward, leaving the bones beneath unprotected.

You know your fat pad has worn down if: 

  • You have a sensation that you're walking on a rock
  • Deep calluses or corns are forming on the heads of the bones in the ball of your foot
  • You foot feels good when wearing a cushioned shoe, but not when you're barefoot
  • You can't walk barefoot on a hard floor

Fat Pad Replacement with Leneva

Leneva from Houston podiatrist to replace fat pad atrophyUntil recently, different fillers have been attempted to replace the fat on the bottom of your foot. The problem is that they, too, wear down with time and you need to come in for a "touch up" frequently. The filler does the work of providing cushioning, but it will wear away faster than your natural fat did. This is why I didn't offer the procedure to my patients. 

This has changed with Leneva. Unlike the other fillers, Leneva is human adipose (fat) tissue. It is derived from sterilized human adipose tissue. The Leneva graft serves as direct cushioning for an atrophied area. But it's better than that! Leneva serves as a scaffold for your body to create new fat tissue. That means new fat will be generated beyond what is injected. You'll have new fat being produced and deposited within 12 weeks after your procedure.

What to Expect During Your Fat Pad Replacement Procedure with Leneva

Leneva is used by Houston podiatrist to treat fat pad atrophyThe first thing I'll do is take an x-ray to be able to look at the bone structure of the area with the prominent bone. I'll then numb the area surrounding where I'm going to inject the Leneva graft. While the site is becoming numb, we'll use betadine to disinfect the area. I'll then prepare the Leneva graft and inject it into the area that is lacking natural fat. 

After the procedure, you're going to initially feel like you're walking on a squishy ball. We'll protect the graft with padding. You're able to bear weight immediately after the procedure, but you may be in a surgical shoe for a few days. Very shortly afterwards, you'll be able to return to full activity and exercise. There's going to be a big difference, however. You're going to feel like you're walking on air!

Alternatives to Fat Pad Replacement with Leneva

I wish I could make this section long, but sadly there's not much to try. Until now, I recommended gel cushioning to help pad the ball of foot and heel where the natural fat cushioning has worn away. Unfortunately, that doesn't help my patients who like going barefoot at home. 

Leneva has given us an opportunity. Yes, it will cushion the area where fad cushioning has worn away. But, it will serve as a scaffold to allow your body to create new fat tissue in the area. Because of this, it is rare to need additional treatments with Leneva.

Leneva is offerred by Houston Podiatrist Dr. Andrew Schneider

Leneva is a procedure that is easily performed in our Houston podiatry office. If you or a loved one would like to learn more about Leneva give us a call at 713-785-7881 or request an appointment online to schedule a consultation with Dr. Andrew Schneider. Together, we will decide if Leneva is a good choice for you.